An European experiment in physics to explore the mysteries of the beginning of the universe creates as much excitement as it does a sense of fear for others. The world’s largest particle accelerator, similar to what many know as an “atom smasher”, is set to explore science theories the world has never seen before.
Created by CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, the Large Hadron Collider, intended to collide opposing beams of protons in a 17-mile tunnel for new information on how our universe works and was created. But concerns have been raised by the courts and media about the safety of the experiments. Some say that the experiments of high-energy particle collisions may cause disastrous events, including the production of black holes.
On September 10th, the first test of the beam in the tunnel buried beneath Switzerland and France will take place. October 21 will be the first launching of the particles into each other. It will eventually intensify over the next few months. Scientist look to explore and confirm a number of theories from the existence of other dimensions, why matter has mass, and the Big Bang theory. They are expecting to have enough data to make a discovery by 2009. They have to make it to 2009 first.
Fears that the collider could produce black holes that could suck up anything around the, including the Earth, while not totally falling on deaf ears, but do not seem to be credible. Physicists close to the Large Hadron Collider admit that they could actually create small black holes, but believe they do not pose any risk. Scientist say that any black hole created would be tiny, and would not have enough energy to stay around before dissolving in what is dubbed Hawking Radiation. Courts and research from other organizations agree with them.
Think about what this would mean to science, as well as science fiction. On one hand we could be months away from total world destruction, but on the other hand we could be months away from some amazing discoveries. Discoveries that could include black hole mysteries, other dimensions, wormholes, and time travel? Those theories are fodder for many science fiction material, but are we close to seeing the events of Event Horizon, Sliders, Quantum Leap, and Contact come true?
Not for nothin’, but the proverbial saying of “if this technology falls in the wrong hands,” that we’ve heard from a countless number of fiction (and non-fiction) rhetoric, can comes true. Maybe it’s already in the wrong hands. Not to say that the Europeans have bad intentions with their new invention, but if what the critics say is true, maybe the right hands are no hands at all.
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